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February 23rd, 2010 by Dr. Phil

Mental Illness and Motherhood, Part 2

pregnancy21Imagine that you and your husband are unable to conceive, so you seek out a surrogate who agrees to carry donor eggs and sperm for you. You set up a nursery and fill it with a crib, blankets and baby clothes. Then the surrogate mother delivers beautiful twins — a son and a daughter. Now imagine one month later, getting a knock on your door and finding out that the babies you thought belonged to you have to be surrendered to the surrogate.

That’s what intended parents Scott and Amy Kehoe say happened to them when their surrogate Shelly Baker reclaimed the twins she carried for them after she says she learned that Amy has a mental illness. After Shelly’s appearance on the show, the blog and the message boards were buzzing! I know, because I read your comments. Many of you felt that Shelly’s decision was just wrong and selfish, while others believed that the surrogate mom did the right thing by allegedly protecting the kids. 

Reader Wendy says: “Dr. Phil, I was so appalled to hear someone state that a women with a mental illness was being shunned from having her twin babies just because of mental illness and so THANKFUL for your views on this situation. I am a mother with Bipolar and in NO way does this make me unfit to parent my child. I pray that something will/can be done so that Amy and Scott can have their babies.”

Gail, who sides with Shelly, says, “The children should stay in the mentally stable home! Since they are not biologically linked to either. Medication does not always work and the severe symptoms come and go leaving the children to feel heartbroken and unsafe.”

Shelly returns to the show to face her critics and to defend what she believes was a tough but ethical decision. Let me tell you, things got pretty heated in the studio. We had some very outspoken audience members who feel that having a mental illness should not preclude a woman from being a mother. 

Tune in, and let me know if you think Shelly gets a wake-up call about her choice to reclaim the twins. What would you have done in her situation?

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507 Responses to “Mental Illness and Motherhood, Part 2”

  1. Teresa says:

    I am a Dr. Phil fan but I was disappointed in how Shelly was treated on the show; Dr. Phil was too hard on her; it was as if the audience was handpicked to tear her down as well as the guest. Thank goodness she had a laywer to give her support. I would have left half way through. If it was the man’s sperm or the woman’s egg this would be different but it wasn’t. Even though Shelly has no biological ties, she has bonded with these children. My son has a similiar mental illness and while I love him beyond measure, I pray he never has children. Stress can cause any number of people to break and what is more stressful that raising children????? Leave Shelly alone, if she did this on purpose and she is not being honest she will have to answer to that someday, but if not, who are we to tell her what to do or feel if it is to protect these babies she carried in her body.

  2. Laura says:

    I agree everything Dr. Phil said you were there for one thing to be the surragant that’s all. These people deserve to have their children home. I also psychological problems that doesn’t mean I would be an unfit parent. Shelly your a cold and sick!

  3. Jan M says:

    I lost hours of sleep after watching the Surrogate mom. If the Kehoe’s are filing a law suit for their children, I will send them a donation to help get their children back. Shelly and her husband are the SURROGATES, not the mom and dad of the babies. I heard Shelly speak her position… all I heard was ME ME ME My MY MY. The parents (Kehoe’s) didn’t spend time with her.. talk to her… they were more concerned for the babies asking about them. ISNT that who a parent is suppose to be concerned for. Shelly said she likes to be a surrogate because she can give a GIFT to those who can not carry children. Well, she kept these gifts for herself. AND to claim a parent is an unfit mom because of a mental illness… give me a break. SHE has just shoved the rights and lives of those with mental illness back 10 years of progress. It is my understanding when listening, Shelly was pissed because she was held back personal information on the Kehoe’s. GET OVER IT SHELLY…. I have depression. I have had it since I was in high school. Every April and August I am on medication. I thought and tried suicide when I was in High school. I heard a voice telling me to do so when I was in the pits of my depression. I did not have my tubes tied because I had a mental illness… went on to have 3 healthy children, all grown.. a business manager, minister and one who will take over our family business after he graduates. Did I struggle… yes, it was the hugs of my husband kids and family who got me through the Aprils and Augusts every year.
    I can give example after example of women I know or are friends with who suffer from mental illness, from being depressed to being institutionalized for 2-3 months until their medications were figured out. ALL raised HAPPY, HEALTHY children who have grown to be HAPPY HEALTHY ADULTS.

    My concern is also for those two babies…. what will Shelly and her husband tell them when they are old enough to understand where babies come from. Is she going to tell them the truth…”we are not your biological parents, you were surrogate babies and because your mom didnt tell me she had a mental illness, I decided to keep you.”


    THEN To top it off and add salt to the wounds, when Dr Phil show offers a credible DOCTOR to make a prognosis on Mrs. Kehoe’s mental illness and stability …. SHELLY DECLINED… again… ME ME ME… WE have bonded with the children. My experience with babies… they will bond with anyone who loves them, feeds them, and changes their diaper.

    Sorry to say this show has made me “LIVID”

  4. Jim Schafer says:

    dr. phil

    why did not the people inquiring into the surrogacy investigate the matter more thoroughly. it seems to me that when an undertaking such as surrogacy should be invesatigated by a third party, and once the surrogate has been found sound, not only physically, but also psychologically, as well, should that person be eligible for surrogacy. however, i am ambivalent as to my more spiritual, ethical, or other opinions. but professionally, i feel that the one orchestrating the operations, should be a licensed professionasl that will be held accountable if similar situations should occur

  5. Heidi says:

    I am glad she took back the twins, now they can be raised in a Healthy home.
    I think if more people took responsibility for what they bring into this word it would be a better place.
    Leave Shelly alone..

  6. Anita says:

    My gut feeling about Shelly is that she took back the twins because she wanted them and that she used the mental illness as an excuse. I don’t think that I, myself, would have been cut of the cloth it takes to be a surrogate, because I know myself, and I don’t think I would have been strong enough to separate my maternal feelings from the fact that I would have placed myself in a business deal situation and that the baby or babies that I would have carried were never mine to begin with and that I was using my body to give a wonderful gift to a childless couple. I have to believe that it takes a VERY special woman to be a surrogate. I also believe that a woman considering being a surrogate should have counseling, so that she is able to understand exactly what she is doing and how she may be emotionally affected. I think it is a wonderful thing, surrogacy, but it should be handled with the utmost care, to ensure that something doesn’t happen like this situation with Shelly and the parents. Shelly DID carry the twins and give birth, but she is not thier mother, she is the surrogate, who willingly donated her womb to give life to babies for a childless couple. It is not her decision to make, whether or not Amy is fit to be the twins mother, that diagnosis should be made by a qualified mental health professional. If she had gone about it in that way, she would be more credible to me, and I would believe that she really and truly is concerned about the babies and not just her own selfish desires. I have 2 children, I know what it is like to carry a child to term and give birth. Again, I stress, it takes a very special woman to be able to be a successful surrogate, and not just any woman, but a woman who knows and understands that she is just that, the surrogate, not to become the mother and caregiver to the child she is carrying.

  7. Belinda says:

    I just have one question, what makes Shelly think she has more rights to those babies than the Kehoe’s? My understanding is she was not the egg donor. Not only should the Kehoe’s get the babies back but they should get compensated by Shelly for everything she put them through. Just my opinion.

  8. Amber says:

    I could not agree more with what Jan M has said. I was so angry while watching the program. Both Shelly and her husband appeared to be very smug and selfish. What a horrible woman to promise a hopeful family a child and then to take it away from them for reasons that are not valid. Shelly had no right to make that decision on her own. Watching her from home made me feel sick to my stomach, her and her husband had such a satisfied look on their faces the whole time, as she continued to defend herself by explaing the Kehoe’s didnt do this for me, that didnt care about me .. blah, blah, blah!! Shelly should remember that the reason she went into any of this was to give a desperate family a chance to have a child.
    While as a mother, I do understand that Shelly has bonded with the babies, but so had the Kehoe’s. Like Dr.Phil said, the babies are still young enough to get all of this worked out, and if Shelly was any kind of a good person she would give those babies back.
    Words just can not explain the feelings I have towards this woman I do not even know. Watching her talk all about herself, her smug smile of satisfaction, and go on to say she doesn’t feel she owes the Kehoe’s anything (even money the put out to have those babies MADE)
    Shelly you need to take a long hard moment and think about people other then yourself, the Kehoes, the babies … and what is best for everybody.

  9. Dr Phil: I am just bringing to the attention of your staff a web site and a club founded by my garnddaughter, Pamela Crim. She is doing a lot to bring joy and happiness into the lives of so many young marrieds. Please have a look and see the comments being placed on the site.

  10. sara says:

    Shelly, watching you ENRAGED me. Who do you think you are? You are not capable of making an educated desicion on anyones mental state. Look at your own mental state before throwing stones. My concern wouldnt be the babies being raised by someone with a mental illness, it would be having them be raised by a mother with your morals. You are selfish and a disgrace to women everywhere. How can you truly think that you dont owe the Kehoes the money back? They spent quite a bit to have those babies and paid you to carry them and then you go and keep them? If you are unwilling to do the right thing and return the babies at least give them the money back. Havent you put them through enough? I feel horrible for the Kehoes and the babies.

  11. joanna says:

    i think that since the babys dont have her dna they are not her baby’s to keep…how will she feel when all this is done and they say hay the babys need to go back to their biological parents…i understand she carried them but they are not hers to keep…where does she get off doing this to that poor family does she not know how evil selfish and just plain out wrong she is right now…she knew what was going to happen when she singed up for this…and since she kept the babies i hOpe she had pay pack any money that the family dished out to her for carring them kid…it just makes me so angry that she could do this…what are you going to tell those when they get older? THEY ARE NOT HER KIDS..not even just a little bit..

  12. joanna says:

    omg i just wanted to say that mother has a mental disorder and i turned out perfect…so for her to say that she took them cause of it is just an excuse and the worst thing any person can ever say or do…how nasty of her..

  13. Mary says:

    The court was wrong in giving custody to Shelly and her husband. If a baby would not be taken at birth away from a mentally ill person, they had no right to do so to the couple for who she was the surrogate. She did know the women was seeing a psychiatrist and it was her responsibility to question why. Then if she didn’t want to have the babies for them, that would have been her choice. But to have them and then try to say she has more knowledge than professionals of the woman’s capabilitities shows that she, herself, is not responsible enough to raise these twins.

    Also, since when would anyone pay the expenses for someone else to have a baby. I hope no one ever uses Shelly as a surrogate again. She can not be trusted. She just wanted another child and didn’t want the expense of the pregnancy and conned these people into pay for it.

  14. Kate D. says:

    I applaud Shelly for making the decision she did. I love Dr. Phil but he is missing the point, the main issue is not about the mental illness, the issue is that the intended parents were deceitful about it. I wouldn’t trust my babies with people who were not completely honest about something as serious as a mental illness or the dui’s. Furthermore, this isn’t depression or anxiety, this is hearing voices, schizophenia. Shelly acted responsibly and in the best interest of those innocent babies. Who knows what that other lady could have done in the future dealing w/ the stress of raising newborn twins. God bless Shelly!!

  15. Lourdes says:

    God Bless you Shelly & Paul! I applaud you for doing what you felt was the right thing to do. It’s very difficult in today’s world to stand up for what you believe in, especially with Dr. Phil beating down on you in such an appalling manner. You both behaved in such a decent, dignified manner & I could tell that you really struggled with this difficult decision. Hindsight is 20/20 & all the what if’s now do not resolve anything! I hope that you can put what others say behind you; what it’s important is that you know for sure that you did what you thought was right & with an open heart. Best wishes to you & your family!!!

  16. Gladys says:

    I believe that Shelli did the right thing. She protected those Babies. The thing that I kept on thinking during the show forward to another show, Shelli sitting there, after her Babies were hurt and everybody turning to her saying…. why didn’t you protect those kids once you found out about the mental illness. This all could have been prevented. I think Dr. Phil was totally unreasonable. He did not even try to see Shelli’s side. And I don’t think it was about her keeping the kids for herself, it was simply to protect the kids…. any kids.

  17. Carolyn Cummings says:

    I watched the shows and I read all the comments and I must tell you that i believe what gives Shelly the right to keep these babies is because she carried them inside HER body for 9 months and regardless of DNA, they ARE a part of her. I am sorry for the Kehoe’s, it must be a horrible thing NOT to be able to have children of your own, but there are so many children out there that have no parents and need a good and loving home. Is her mental problem the treason they do not adopt? if this is something that would stand in the way of adoption, then why shouldn’t it stand in the way of her having the twins? And Dr Phil, as much as i admire and believe in you, I could not believe that you would ask Shelly and her husband if they would be willing to give the twins back to the Kehoe’s after they have had them for six months. That is asking her to give away HER children now. Could you have give your sons away when they were six months old? I am sorry and I may be all wrong, but I cannot imagine carring a child in my body for 9 months and then handing it over to someone else when it is born, regardless of whose DNA it has, it would be MY child. I do believe though that if it had been Shelly’s intentions to keep the children that she would have done it from birth. She did hand these babies over to the Kehoe’s just as agreed, it was circumstances, not revealed as they should have been from the start, that put those babies back in Shelly’s arms and i would be VERY upset to know that after having these babies with her for six months that she could just give them away. She surely loves them as her own, I would have BEFORE they were born.

  18. brownie says:

    Mental Illness and Motherhood sometimes just can’t be helped, but to hand over a child or children to parents that have a diagnosed Mental Illness such as Schizophrenia will not be a normal healthy or stabled life. There will be obsticles but tell me, Why? volunteer innocent children to years of tramatic life changes in the parent they Love…

  19. Ann Davis says:

    I think what she did is terrible. Its every mother to be’s worse nightmare. And I think that the lady in the audience that spoke who said she was working in the field (the one who agreed with what this lady did) should think about changing professions. The things she said were a far cry from what we in the mental health field are taught. I am scared to think what advice, treatment, etc she is giving to her clients.

  20. Ann Davis says:

    One more thing, I agree Dr Phil with the way that Shelly was treated – you asked her tough questions to which she really had no answer to it. AND for the person that commented that she thought the audience was handpicked… I think it is indicative of the fact that a majority of people think that what Shelly did was wrong. You are not the biological mother of these children and you are not the intended parents.

  21. Emily says:

    Just as a birth mother has a grace period to reclaim her baby, so should a surrogate carrying a baby with no relation to the couple. How come a birth mom, in the case of an adoption, can enter into an agreement with a couple, deliver the baby, and change her mind and receive no grief about breaking “the contract”? I agree that Shelly should have done some research before hand, but I also think the Kehoes should have went through an agency to secure their future family.

    On another note, the Kehoes can recover from this situation a lot easier than Shelly and her husband could if they had to give the babies back. I think the Kehoes should jump back on the surrogate train, if they are mentally stable, and begin the process of restarting their family. They will never break Shelly’s bond and I dont believe they will defeat Michigans law.

  22. Kay Miles says:

    I charge Shelley and her husband for not doing their homework, relative to the proposed parents of these twins. Whether they did their homework or not, I absolutely do not believe Shelley that she was protecting these twins from a mentally disturbed mother. I truly believe that she had/has her own adjenda and couldn’t care less what the proposed parents thought or felt. I don’t believe that she is an honest woman. This situation, in my opinion had/has nothing to do with the twins. It’s all about Shelley and what Shelley wants. Because the state in which she lives plays into her best suit, the twins will remain with her. I think it’s a shame. I worry about the proposed parents and the residual effect all of this will have on them. Will anyone feel comfortable becoming a surrogate for them? I surely hope so. If I were able to become pregnant again, I know I’d be first in line. I pray for them. I am, quite frankly, surprised at the laws of the state in which Shelley resides. So the state discourages surrogacy — surrogacy is taking place in their state, whether the state likes it or not. I think they owe a duty to its citizens to have laws that protect its citizens from situations such as these. It’s really a sad story. So sad. I just pray that a surrogate comes forward to give this loving couple the child they so desire. Hopefully, the surrogate won’t reside in that state! As my last words: Shelley, I believe, is a self-centered uncompromising individual without compassion. Her word means nothing. Absolutely nothing. This woman does not tell the truth. I feel sorry for these twins who will grow up with a sense of entitlement, just like Shelley. Too bad.

  23. Stephanie in VA says:

    I’m a huge fan of the show and watch it daily. I was in absolute shock about the lack of consideration that Shelly was given by Dr. Phil and everyone else at the show. It felt as though there was an agenda to advocate for Mental Health and the children’s welfare was merely collateral damage. For someone who is a member of CASA, whose sole purpose is advocating for children, I expected Dr. Phil to defend Shelly and commend her for caring about the children’s safety. I believe that it is better to err on the side of caution than to hand them over without regard to their futures. I work in the field and know that it is sometimes devastating when mental health and motherhood combine. When someone with a mental health diagnosis gets pregnant the law protects her rights, but the children don’t have any rights. I know that it is not always the case and that having a mental health diagnosis should have exclude someone from being a mother, however, this is not one of those situations. I believe that Shelly had a right to know ahead of time about Amy’s background so she could have made an informed decision about whether she wanted to be their surrogate.

    AND I also have seen numerous cases of little to no interaction between a psychiatrist and their patient. The scheduled length of a session is 15 minutes and it often does not take that long. Additionally, if she has been on the same medication, it is possible that they go 3 to 6 months between appointments. It is not reassuring what so ever that her psychiatrist is vouching for her due to the possibility that the interaction time between and amy and her doctor is most likely between 30 and 60 minutes for the year.

    Unless the message is that surrogate are merely baby factories and should not have any regard for what happens to their “product” Shelly did and is doing the right thing.

  24. mool says:

    Shelly is the one with the mental illness. Her son got it from her. Now the babies are in a home with mentally ill people that are not treated. At least Amy is treated and has great recommendations by PROFESSIONAL people.

  25. cat5400 says:

    Since we still do not know the depth of the intended mothers mental illness and the birth mother doesn’t seem to care about the facts, I find what she and her husband did unforgivable. For those that think Shelli and her husband will provide a “mentally stable” home have, in my opinion, missed the point. Her very actions and arrogant smug attitude prove to me that they are anything but mentally stable. Of course, time could prove me wrong, based on what the intended family does in the future, but the laws concerning this in their state should be changed. To me, I view what Shelli and her husband did as theft, fraud and deception. They seem to lack any empathy at all for the Keogh’s. This whole debate just proves that the stigma of mental illness runs rampant in our society, along with alot of ignorance.

  26. Missy says:

    Watched 2nd show. I cannot believe the arrogance of this couple. Am I the only one who was fuming when she preached to Dr. Phil “these are children not puppies”??? OMGosh!! This man advocates for kids more than anyone on TV. And that attorney with them, telling Dr. Phil and the audience “we need to understand what pschosis (sp?)is and define it…etc. HELLO??? A professional in mental illness is sitting 3 people away from you! She is just a LAWYER. That doesn’t make her all-knowing, contratry to her own belief.

    Shelly, you are self-righteous, arrogant, narccisitc, selfish. You enjoy being put on a pedastal as a martyr in being a surrogate. “oh, look at me. look what i do for others, everyone pay attention to me, look at the gifts I give.” This isn’t about gifts to others for you, lady, it is about YOUR OWN EGO AND NEED FOR ATTENTION from where ever you can get it. I feel sorry for your children, and I would rather have a child I carried raised by the other couple than by a manipulative, narccisitic, judgemental know-it-all.

    They will not agree to the independent evaluation DR. Phil offered, not out of concern for the attachment issues of the babies, but because the KNOW it will not come out in their favor. THEY ARE WRONG AND THEY ABSOLUTELY KNOW IT. I understand the other parents wanting Dr. Phil to intervene, but for the surrogate to want to go on national TV just to say, look at me, I am not bad??? WTHeck??? If you, in your heart, know you made the right decision you wouldn’t need to justify it to total strangers. right??? aaarrgggh. My gut feeling about her is needy, always needing attention, superiority complex, ignorant, manipulative, greedy, selfish. Wake up Shelly. YOU ARE NOT ALL THAT. In fact, you are quite the opposite. Who CARES if you “still cry over this” (which I don’t believe for a second) IT IS NOT ABOUT YOU. NOT ABOUT YOU. NOT ABOUT YOU. I don’t think this woman will ever get that…..in her life. Poor kids. They will just be around to serve her ego & need for attention….

  27. Russell Vlaanderen. says:

    Russell Said. I think that the Mother sure have the right to keep te babies and not
    let Surrgate Mother keep them at all. Doctor Phil you did the right job this week.–
    Sincerley Your. Russell Vlaanderen.———————————————

  28. mool says:

    Shelly makes me ill. Question is, why did she not give the babies up for adoption, there are thousands of families out there that would have taken those babies. Shelly obviously is using a mental illness as her scapegoat, and obviously had hidden agendas. This woman needs to be thrown in prison and toss away the key!

  29. Judi says:

    After reading all the comments, I think many of those with opinions here do not realize that NEITHER of these sets of parents are biological parents of these twins. The sperm and eggs were donated. I think the biological fact was VERY MUCH downplayed. I wonder how many of the posters here would change their opinion IF they realized that the babies are NOT biologically related to EITHER set of parents? In Michigan this surrogate mother has the legal right to KEEP the BABIES. Obviously from surrogates comments she felt insensitivity from from the mother in want, during her pregnancy. In defense of her feeling, all pregnant women deserve to be well treated and cared for. It would seem to me that the mother in want would have been extremely HAPPY to be included in everything having to do with babies who will eventually be HERS. This mother in want failed to even go to the doctors visits with her surrogate, didn’t care how her surrogate was feeling. A surrogate is a very special woman. There are risks to pregnancy and even more while carrying twins. Im not surprised at all that the surrogate sensed certain issues with the mother to be during that pregnancy. Even if the mother in want had no such mental diagnosis requiring medications, the FACT is …THIS surrogate had the legal right to KEEP the babies under the law in her state. She used her own instincts to decide to keep them. Maybe she wouldn’t have bonded with them IF the mother in want had shared in the pregnancy, gone to all of those doctors visits, understood and supported all the physical and emotional changes that occur during pregnancy with a birth mother, done the right thing instead of what seems to be …..merely a woman wanting a baby, finding a woman on the internet..paying MONEY for her medical care…as if she’s not even HUMAN but instead…..a baby machine ..for HERSELF. I do support the surrogate and her baby twins. Neither of these couples are biologically related to the babies, but the surrogate is VERY bonded to the babies, she GAVE them LIFE. I dont believe that mental illness is the issue at all in this case, other than to say …schizophrenia is a very serious diagnosis, medications need to be closely monitored and taken as prescribed. I believe that the surrogate had a ‘feeling’ during the course of her pregnancy…..and followed her ‘gut feeling’ in this case. If these twins were biologically connected to the mother in want or her husband, the situation would be entirely different. That is not this case. The babies are now 6 months old and thriving. I am very shocked that Dr. Phil would suggest that the first year of life is less important that future years. I believe from my own experiences as mother and grandmother (one of my grandchildren was adopted at birth), that the first year of life is CRITICAL to the rest of a persons life. Offering the surrogate an evaluation of the mother to be is irrelevant at this stage. Im going to assume the mother to be was completely insensitive to the surrogate during the pregnancy, she was disinterested in attending doctors visit appointments, certainly she was interested in the babies, but to treat the surrrogate as she’s going through the pregnancy as a machine instead of a ’sister’, expressing concern for HER Health as well is likely to be a sample of how the mother to be might parent those precious little twins. I say HATS off to the surrogate for ‘going with her gut’ and hiring a lawyer to protect her legal rights in the state where she lives. Please Dr. Phil…offer disappointment counseling to the parents in want. Maybe next time they hire a surrogate they will at the very least care about the birth mother as she’s carrying the babies they want so badly. The process matters very much. Just ask ANY woman who has EVER been pregnant what it’s like, how she feels. Oh ..and to address Lisa Blooms comments from that show. Hats off to Lisa too. The surrogate is not only the birth mother to these twins, she is also their LEGAL mother. The right decision was made, the babies will grow up happy and healthy.

  30. terit says:

    i think this surrogate is very selfish and arrogant. I believe that with her son having a mental illness, she decided to keep these babies, i also think think that the idea of twins appealeled to her. I believe the babies should go tho the other parents, I couldn’t believe she refused Dr. Phil’s help.

  31. Tannis says:

    If shelly was only concerned about the mental illness, she would not have been adamant about not letting the kehoes have their babies. The agreement was for the kehoe’s to have their children once they were born. These babies, as far as I understand have no dna ties to either set so what makes shelly and paul any better. Perhaps they should be allowed to be adopted by someone who will love them without all the drama and is not so focused on hate and can love the children as the deserve. I have OCD, a mental condition some may say, and a child with a disability and am told frequently that I am a great mother. Enough said.

  32. Susan says:

    Get a clue people that agree with Shelly, she was a surrogate, NOT a mother in this case!! Yes, she protected the twins (a good thing) and the instant she made that decision she should have had a plan and a grown up decision of what to do in consulting the right people to make the decision FOR the twins, not a decision for her to make!

    Grow up Shelly, and do the right thing.

  33. Susan says:

    Also, Shelly WAS compensated for carrying the twins even if you call it EXPENSES Shelly, you KNOW you were compensated to do what you promised to do for the Kehoes, you are a disgrace to surrogates everywhere! Everywhere! I wish they never called you a surrogate because you aren’t one.

    Dr. Phil, I say turn her in to the state of Michigan for accepting compensation for surrogacy then they will throw her into jail for lying and taking the Kehoes babies. The twins need justice and for someone sane to speak up for them.

  34. Linda Harris says:

    I am appalled that Shelly feels she has the right to those children. She just wants the attention that being pregnant gets her.

    I have a special needs child that was very hard to get and have. I wonder if one of those children had had problems would she still have kept them. I think she is very selfish, but on the other hand if she felt that strongly about these children then she needs to pay for them.

    Scott and Amy bought the egg and sperm, like you buy milk and butter so they are a commodity and the babies technically still belong to Scott and Amy since Shelly and Paul have not paid for them. Shelly sits up there as if she hasn’t done one thing wrong.

    Its wrong for mentally ill people to get a bad reputation. Some are very responsible and are getting help for their disease just like a diabetic gets help for their problems. I think we all have problems, just some of us handle it differently and therefor are considered normal. I’m sure if we dug deep enough we would find problems or concerns with Shelly and Paul also.

    I think what you offered them was a wonderful solution but she refused. You have to wonder why.

  35. Mary says:

    Lets start with STEP one again…………. Evaluate the mother for how responsible she is in life. If all is good then she and husband GEt their babies.
    All shold be done ASAP..those children deserve to be with there real parents.
    I believe the judge acted upon this without followups about the parents.
    The surrgate mother alredy knew about the questionable problem, she didn’t think i was a problem so I believe this was her plan all along….
    She wanted more children of her own one way or another……… this way no $$ paid out. I would check her finances and see that would be true….
    I know others with various problems but with help from friends and family they are on the right track, they know to ask for help OK…………..
    Lets get the right thing done here back with the Mom and Dad…..not the surrogate…

  36. Deborah says:

    Well this is a HUGE subject! But I’ll try and do it as short as I can. I am 47 years old and I’m adopted. I’m very much agains surragacy – I can’t think of anything more wrong and egg donations and what have we. I just don’t approve. But that’s beside the point here, the damage had been done. That’s why the whole deal is SO not a good idea. Bearing the children for 9 months impact you. You can’t even use the term of biological mum here, as Scott and Amy are not the biological parents as far as I understand (the original egg and sperm). It is simply too complicated. Why didn’t they just adopt instead – there’s so many children in need. But if Shelley thought there was a problem persuming she got to know Scott and Amy, she is in her right mind to protect the children. I’ll have a look out to see the show.

    I did see a documentary last night though about The Internet Twins (2001), and I couldn’t remember if you ever had a show about them. I searched your site to see and couldn’t find it, but thought the subject was right up your street:


    There you can really talk about unfit mums, on either side of the ocean. Without any mental illness at all. That shouldn’t prevent you as a rule, but of course it can be a huge problem and certainly make you an unfit mum. Here (Denmark, Europe) you wouldn’t get to adopt having a mental illness.

  37. Marti says:

    GO Shelly! You did the right thing. May God bless you and your precious twins..

  38. Deborah says:

    I don’t know how Shelly can live with herself. She should be ashamed for what she did. In a couple of years how is she going to explain to these twins what she did and how will these kids handle it…How is she going to teach these kids right from wrong? Are they going to live by example? If so what 2 little lying,dishonest, mean spirited, hurtful people we have to look forward to in this world. Thanks Shelly for giving the joy of surrogacy an EVIL face.

  39. Amy says:

    I think that the Lord gave Shelly the ability to give life; but I do not believe that He wanted her to sit in judgment and decide when to take life away.

    I know Scott and Amy aren’t concerned about the financial aspect of this situation, but if Shelly and Paul do keep the babies, Scott and Amy should be able to sue them in civil court and be reimbursed for their expenses in “giving” Shelly babies.

  40. jess says:

    the point i got from it was not that shelly kept the babies because the adoptive mother has a mental disorder, it BECAUSE SHE DIDNT TELL HER ABOUT IT!!!

    NEITHER party has any biological link to these babies, therefor by law, shelly has legal rights to them.

    i think you did the thing shelly. its your job to protect those babies, so good for you going with your gut and doing the right thing! God bless you and YOUR babies.

    also on the 1st show when the kehoes got on the phone, i didnt hear anything along the lines of “we just want our babies” “we miss our babies”, all they wanted to do was shelly bash, its was ridiculous.

    again im sooo dissapointed in doc phil and the way he treated these people, and suggesting they give these babies back..they are 6 months old they are thriving in their enviroment now!!
    you can not just bounce kids back and forth! also to attack someone they tried to defend them..give me a break!! way to not be baised doc.

  41. mommamia says:

    Someone said Amy hears voices, I think that someone hears things too. Because from what I heard was Amy ‘heard’ voices, not hears. All past tense. Are we really about to judge someone from their problems from so many years ago? How about if we dig up all the stuff on Shelly and realize the things she did in her past as far as her first marriage? We could say she is such a terrible person and that she can never change. Someone said it right when they said that Shelly has another motivation to all of this. Someone also said it right when they said she wants attention and she wants money from all of this. Shelly is a very sick and conceited woman, and she doesn’t care who’s hearts she breaks. It seems it’s all about Shelly. Dr Phil, you couldn’t have said it better, it is all about Shelly.

  42. Lori says:

    Shelley truly baffles me.

    She spoke of not wanting to have the twins bounced around from home to home – that was supposedly the reason she and her husband would not take Dr. Phil up on his second offer to provide independent objective professionals to assess the situation – when it was Shelley, not the Kehoes who initiated the “bouncing” in the first place.

    She spoke of the bond her family now has with the twins. Did the Kehoes not have the same bond when Shelley and her husband decided to take them back a month later?

    She spoke of her desire and qualifications to advocate for the twins. Where were those abilities at the original hearing, when despite her misgivings, she let them go home with the Kehoes? Shelley claims she didn’t know how to speak up then or even that she could.

    She, an adult, didn’t speak up and assert her feelings at a time when it doesn’t take a law degree to realize she should, but she’s perfectly capable of advocating for innocent children?

    That’s concerning to me. She doesn’t get that she isn’t even close to qualified to make the kinds of judgements she did, and she doesn’t appear assertive or knowledgeable enough to ask for help to protect the twins’ best interests at a time that’s just common sense. That’s a bad combination.

  43. AZmom60 says:

    Obviously, the Bakers would not agree to let Dr. Phil help because they both know they would be proven wrong and it would not work in their favor! This is a seriously disturbed and self centered woman who seems to care more about her wants and needs than the needs of those babies. It is my sincere hope they are charged with kidnapping, theft, and fraud. Christians? YEAH RIGHT!!!

  44. Sharon Pickett says:

    Hey Dr. Phil,
    I can’t believe the surragate mother feels she has enough knowledge to make a judgement about a person. I have had depression since I was in grade school maybe longer I don’t know. I was able to hide the depression by self medicating because I really didn’t understand what was going on with my mind. In 2006, I was formally diagnoised and now see a therapist and an APN to get my meds. They are very good at their jobs and ask a lot of questions. I don’t lie to them like some other people I know, because it doesn’t help me either way. They know if they can trust me to go home, or inpatient. I have two boys and they are doing great, one is a college junior the other a high school senior, who happens to be autistic. My line to this woman is “I am suicidal not homicidal. Sharon

  45. Jacquie Holyoak says:

    I may not be popular after sayin this, but,…
    I am 46 yrs old with two daughters 15 & 19. I suffer from a few mental illnesses. Bipolar and BPD (Borderline Personality Disorder) The quality of my life gets worse and worse every year. But what hurts me the most is that both of my children have been diagnosed with mental illness’s as well. One has the same as me & the youngest suffers from depression. All 3 of us are also self harmers (cutting) No one can imagine the pain and guilt I feel for having past this on to them.
    I love my girls so much. They’re the one thing I am happiest about. But if I had known that I would pass on this cruel disease I never would have had children.
    So you can’t dismiss that a mother with a mental disorder does have a risk of having children with a mental disorder.
    The point I’m trying to make is if you do have children you should prepare yourself ahead of times so that you are armed with the right knowledge and tools to raise those children. Please dont’ dismiss this with “It would never happen to me” because it can.

  46. Melissa says:

    I think that Shelley has a mental disorder for thinking she can steal babies. These children were not hers to take away, they are not the parents. I hope a lawsuit is filed because Shelley has no right to those children. Not only did she take these children from there genetic parents, she also took the money. She took money for a business deal and did not produce children for these clients. Shelley is absolutely crazy and out of her mind.

  47. Kate says:

    I am almost 50, have a 7 year old, and I have bipolar disorder. I purposely don’t say that “I am bipolar” because it does not define me. I have a disorder that affects me, particularly when I’m not on medication. I used to worry about my raising a child because of my illness, but after seeing other mothers, honestly believe that I am doing just as good job as others, if not better (in my and my family’s humble opinion). Please do not judge those with mental illnesses for fitness of parenting. As someone else said, you do take the little growth in reducing the stigma with mental disorders aback my years.

  48. Marie says:

    I think Shelley had no right to keep the babies. She made a very serious committment and should have no excuse to go back on that.
    Also is it just me or does Shelley look exactly like the woman that had two kids and then through invertilization had 6 more. She was a big controversy for quite a while. And is Dr Phil ever going to follow up with her story.

  49. Kimberly says:

    It upset me so much to watch this episode because Shelly is far more concerned with herself then she is about anyone else, including the babies. Shes upset because she wanted to be treated like a queen while she was pregnant but did she tell the parents that she wanted to be babied? I doubt it. They arent adopting Shelly, they are adopting those kids. I understand that she was concerned about the kids. However, they arent her children. She got those children through donors that the kehoes paid for, not her. They werent supposed to be giving her children, SHE was supposed to be giving THEM children but the exact opposite happend because Shelly decided to be selfish.
    Do the right thing Shelly, for you to refuse Dr. Phils offer to have them examined by professionals to determine if you were right in taking those kids is redicilous. I understand that you dont approve the children to move homes again. However, you say youve held up your end of the deal but you didnt and now your not giving them a honest chance. I understand that the kids have bonded with your family, but your a surrogate mother and everyone knows that those kids werent supposed to stay with you.

    Give them their babies or give them their money, what your doing now by giving them nothing after they gave you the means to have those babies is absolutely wrong and I do completely see this as kidnapping or at very least, robbery by means of deception. They paid for you to have these kids with the deal that they were their kids and you would hand them over and your refusel to do so breaks the deal and you should pay them their money or hey, KEEP YOUR WORD AND GIVE THOSE BABIES THEIR RIGHTFUL PARENTS.

  50. allyson says:

    my mothers mother, was in and out of institutions her whole life. She had 5 children, one being born in Dorthea Dix hospital in the 40’s. This child the one born at the institution was raised by a nurse who knew about the situation, my grandmother knew she had a child ,but was told it died at birth. She got out of the hospital and looked for the babies grave. What a sad storie, and its all true. Years later I met my aunt who had been raised by the nurse, she had taken her far away to miami fla. The worst part is she never got to meet her mother she died in1975. My aunt would have liked to have exleast liked to have been raised by family. mental ill issues especially involving children have to be examined extremly close. My mom saw her mom go off the deap end , what a tragady.

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